Are you expecting too much from your ex and pushing your ex further away, or worse; completely turning your ex off?
Many of my clients don’t like it when I say to them, “The cause of your anxiety is not your ex “. The course of your anxiety is that you are expecting too much from your ex.
Our expectations, especially our unexpressed expectations cause more problems in our relationships than many of us realize.
Just think about it. Every time you’ve felt rejected and unwanted by someone you love; it’s because someone didn’t do what you expected them to do. They didn’t call, didn’t say the words you hoped they’d say, didn’t remember your birthday; or forgot to mention something etc. And the times you’ve felt so loved and wanted where when they met your expectations and beyond.
Should you have any relationship expectations at all?
My opinion is: yes, you must absolutely have expectations for your relationship.
- Relationship expectations are the give and take currency of a healthy relationship.
- Relationship expectations challenge us to be and do our best for the sake of the relationship.
Without expectations, the relationship is like to “whom it may concern” letter. You hope that someone will read it and respond, but chances are no one will.
In other words, having expectations is not the problem. Who has expectations and what expectations is what creates most relationship problems. Most people who have problems with relationship expectations are people who have not communicated their expectations to the concerned party; or are communicated but not clearly. And sometimes you communicate your expectations but somewhere things changed and you did not tell the other person that your expectations have changed.
Some expectations are rational, healthy and realistic
When you are trying to get back your ex, there are things you expect from your ex. For example, you expect your ex to:
- Reply to text message
- Respond to your text messages within a certain time
- Initiate contact
- Meet you or ask you to hangout or on a date
- Come back etc
These are perfectly rational, healthy and realistic expectations. When these expectation are not met, it’s natural to feel some amount of anxiety; and even worry about your chances of getting back together.
Are you expecting too much from your ex?
1. Expecting too much from your ex is when you let little things become an issue; or make you lose sight of the bigger picture. Little things like your ex:
- Replying to a text 2 hours later instead of 2 minutes
- Not calling when they said they’d call
- Saying they are not ready to meet face-to-face
- Being scared of getting back together etc.
2. You also expect too much from your ex when you let these little annoyances dictate how you act towards your ex.
3. You expect too much from your ex when you try to force an realistic and unachievable outcome that meets your expectations. In the process of trying to force the outcome you want; you end up pushing your ex further away or worse.
How do you know if you are expecting too much from your ex?
You know you’re expecting too much from your ex when you consistently feel disappointed and let down by your ex. Sometimes your ex may be making an effort to reach out or make you feel loved but because you expect too much of your ex, you don’t see the effort they are making.
Taking a step back and asking yourself is what I am asking expecting from my ex, at this stage in the process realistic, reasonable and achievable is a good way to manage your expectations.